It is generally unknown that according to tradition the messiah who will bring peace to the world is not only a descendant of King David, but also from the wicked King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, the later being a rabid worshiper of the idol Baal and murderer of many prophets of the Lord.

A brief timeline

Moses led the Israelites for forty years during which time the tribes were united. Joshua succeeded him. Joshua brought the Israelites to Canaan, as the land was called at that time. He attempted to defeat the various Canaanite tribes but was not very successful. As a result, the Israelites had multiple problems with the inhabitants of Canaan for centuries. After Joshua’s death, each tribe lived separately and had various leaders, most of whom rose to prominence when the tribe was placed in danger. These leaders were called judges, although they did not have a judicial position. The last of the judges was the prophet Samuel. The people persuaded him to appoint a king over the reunited tribes.

Samuel reluctantly appointed Saul as king. According to the Bible, Saul was not a successful king. Samuel then anointed David as king. David ruled the southern tribe of Judah for seven years, while Saul and later his son governed the rest of the Israelites. Then David reunited the tribes and was king over the united tribes for thirty-three years. He captured and made Jerusalem his capital. Although the dates during these times is far from certain, it appears that David died around 1000 BCE (before the common era).

His son Solomon followed him as king. While David’s life was filled with battles, Solomon administered a generally peaceful kingdom. He assured peace by marrying women from many lands, including the daughter of Pharaoh of Egypt. He had 300 wives and 700 concubines. They led him according to some accounts to worship idols. He spent much time expanding and beautifying his land. Unfortunately, he did so on the back of the citizens of Israel whom he also taxed greatly. When he died and his son Rehoboam was enthroned, the people begged Rehoboam to reduce the taxes and the drafting of workers. When he refused, ten of the twelve tribes abandoned Rehoboam under the leadership of Jeroboam and established a kingdom in the north that they called Israel. The now smaller kingdom of Rehoboam and his successors was called Judea, named after the principle tribe, the tribe of David, Judah, This occurred around 930 BCE. Jeroboam ran Israel for 22 years until around 910 BCE.

Ahab and Jezebel were the ancestors of the messiah

Omri was the sixth king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Omri was not from the house of Jeroboam. He was the captain in the army of the former king Zimri. When Zimri died, the army appointed him king, a role he assumed after a four-year civil war discussed in 16 biblical verses in I Kings 16. Omri extended the country of Israel. He bought property on the western bank of Israel and built the city of Samaria, named after its prior owner, which he made the capital of the northern kingdom. He governed for about 12 years from about 884 to 872 BCE. He created a dynasty that lasted about fifty years and, as will be seen, became the ancestor of the future long-awaited messiah. The Bible states that he did evil in the sight of God, a claim made against every member of his dynasty. His offspring who governed after him were Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram, and Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah.

Ahab succeeded his father as king and ran Israel for 22 years from around 872 to 853 BCE. His wife was Jezebel. Their son Ahaziah was king for two years after him, from around 853 to 852 BCE. Ahaziah was followed on the throne by his brother Jehoram who ruled from about 852 to 841 BCE. Jehoram was the last of Ahab and Jezebel’s children to be king over Israel. He was followed by Jehu who like Omri long before him, was a commander of the army. Jehu killed Jehoram and Jezebel and was king for 28 years from around 841 to 814 BCE as the tenth ruler of the northern kingdom.

Meanwhile, Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah married King Jehoram of Judah[1] who was enthroned from about 849 to 841 BCE. When he died, Athaliah seized the throne of Judah, killed the entire family of her husband that she could find, and governed Judah for six years until about 835 BCE. She missed one of her grandchildren Joash, a child who was raised secretly by priests during the six years, who was the revealed, Athaliah was killed, and Joash, a descendant of King David, King Ahab, and Queen Jezebel and the traditional ancestor of the messiah, was king for forty years until around 796 BCE.

The northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed in 722 BCE and while many citizens of Israel escaped to Judah and some Israelites were able to remain in the land, the remaining Israel citizens became the “lost tribes.”

Israel was settled by non-Israelites who joined the remnant of the citizens of Israel and were later called the Samaritans, named after the city that Omri founded, Samaria. 

[1] He had the same name as Jehoram king of Israel.